A Jigs Hollow Road resident’s bid to make a small residential cluster a firearms discharge-free zone failed to make a bang in Woolwich this week. Peter Hoffman’s plan was rejected by councillors meeting Tuesday night.
He had asked for an amendment to the township’s firearms bylaw to include a group of seven homes – from 1475 to 1557 Jigs Hollow Rd. – among the settlements where discharging a gun is not permitted. The area involves some 600 metres of frontage on the east side of the road, bounded by the Canagagigue Creek to the south and the meandering Grand River to the east.
At the suggestion of township clerk Val Hummel, the scope of the area was reduced to exclude properties at the south and north ends of the area proposed by Hoffman. But in the absence of much support from neighbours, some of whom opposed the move, councillors opted to take no action. The properties, however, remain subject to a township-wide directive that hunters require written permission from individual owners to hunt on the private land.
Hoffman argued the changes were needed to increase public safety, protect children walking to a nearby parochial school, and to give the area equal footing with the prohibition offered in other small settlements in the township.
Neighbour David Yaworski, 1475 Jigs Hollow Rd., argued against the proposed changes, stressing that there have been no problems in the area to warrant amending the bylaw.
He dismissed Hoffman’s safety argument, noting the prohibition would encompass such a small area as to have no impact on, for instance, children walking along the roadway. In that vein, Yaworski suggested a better safety measure would be to reduce traffic speed along the gravel roadway.
Having visited the site, Coun. Scott Hahn said he had no concerns about safety, even with an archery range on the other side of the street.
“I’d be very safe walking up and down that road at any time of day. I don’t support any bylaw in that area.”
Suggesting the situation seemed to be something of a “neighbourhood dispute,” Coun. Murray Martin said the township should take no action. “I don’t see a big reason to change anything.”